Nearly one-third of U.S. brands may be contemplating switching up their ad agency in the next six months, while more than nine in 10 say chemistry is the most important factor in forging a new agency partnership, according to a newly released study from Atlanta-based “marketing matchmaker” firm Setup.
The company’s third annual Marketing Relationship Survey, published today, sought insight from more than 300 marketers across major brands and agencies, with the majority of respondents in each group identifying as C-suite or other top-level employees.
Survey participants hail from a diverse range of brands, including IBM, WarnerMedia, Duracell, Bojangles and Hunter Boot, while agency respondents include executives and staff from Morrison, Modo Modo, Publicis Groupe’s Razorfish and more.
The 2021 study’s most surprising finding is that 30% of brand marketers say they are at least somewhat likely to switch agencies within the next six months, capping what may be the end of a tumultuous era for many agency-client relationships. (Setup’s 2020 Marketing Relationship Study, which was published prior to the global outbreak of COVID-19, found a similar number of brands planned to “review their agency partners in the next three months.”)
“We have shortened our planning cycles to pivot rapidly to adjust to dynamic conditions. With that, we also have continued to reevaluate our agency partnerships to ensure we remain nimble,” says Katie Kirschner, VP of brand, content and digital marketing at point-of-sale software company NCR. Meeting customer demands is “made possible by working with dependable agency partners,” she adds.